Melinda Lorene Sparks

December 8, 1947September 7, 2021

It is with great sadness that the family of Mrs. Melinda “Lucy” Lorene Echols Sparks announces her passing after a battle with cancer, on September 7, 2021, at the age of 73.

Melinda passed away in Austin and will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 25 years, Judge Sam Sparks, six children: Kelly, Boo, Chris, David, Scott, Rick, and their families, along with nine grandchildren, five great grandchildren, stepmother Shirley, and brother Bubba.

Melinda graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, before becoming an eighth-grade history teacher at Morning Middle School. Though she retired in 1995, she didn’t slow down. She married Sam and moved to Austin where she continued serving her community as a Boutique Co-Chair of The Settlement Club — a volunteer group of women whose mission is to support The Settlement Home for abused women. She was a well-loved member of The Headliners Club along with Sam. Melinda was devoted to Sam in his life and his work, and was truly beloved at the courthouse.

Known as the feisty one in the family, she could always be counted on to liven a conversation with additions of humor and heartfelt advice. More importantly, she will be remembered most for her roles as a devoted wife, cherished mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and steadfast friend. She is preceded in death by her parents, Bill Echols and Jolene Harris Hartsfield.

The graveside service will be held at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota Street, Austin, Texas 78702, at 11:00 am on Friday, September 17, 2021. All are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, Melinda requests you make charitable donations to The Settlement Club at


  • Graveside Service

    Friday, September 17, 2021


Melinda Lorene Sparks

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Yerger Hill

September 16, 2021

Sam: my heart goes out to you in the loss of your wife. A second time to cancer seems so unfair in the short span of time we have to enjoy this earth. We are out of state and will not return until after the service. Thoughts and prayers are shared with you. Cousin Yerger Hill